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3 Conversations You Need to Have With Your Payroll Provider

September 13th, 2023 | 3 min. read

By Kristi Feist

Having a Human Capital Management (HCM) provider is crucial in today’s technologically driven world. They are essential in meeting your HR and payroll needs, especially regarding compliance. Having the right conversations is a must.

Have you ever wondered what your payroll provider actually does? Better yet, have you ever asked? Payroll is detail-oriented, stressful, and, most importantly, time-consuming. You need to develop a solid understanding of what your payroll provider does for you.

For 40 years, Payday HCM has assisted multi-site organizations, both large and small, in serving their clients and employees. To be successful, your organization needs timely implementations, training, and technology, which all begin with your payroll provider relationship.

This article will focus on three crucial conversations that you, as a multi-site organization leader, must have to be successful. And once you’re done reading our three advice keys, you’ll thank us.

These three conversations are crucial for your current relationship with your payroll provider.


1: Addition of New Locations & Acquisitions with Payroll

When acquiring or adding a new property, all eyes are on you. Employees look to you for a smooth and prompt transition. Contact your provider to create a standard template for making a new entity.

Have them provide you with a blueprint of what they need from you to complete the implementation. The blueprint, though time-consuming, eliminates repetitive conversations and time wasted going back and forth. Each module should have its template based on your unique policies as outlined in your handbook — the most common modules and basic templates are:

  • Payroll
  • Timekeeping/Scheduling
  • Applicant Tracking
  • Electronic Onboarding
  • Scheduling
  • Learning Management Systems
  • HRIS (Occurrence Tracking, Disciplinary Actions, Awards, Certifications, Reviews)


Request the same implementation specialist for each new account or acquisition. This saves both organizations time and money as you will not need to “recreate the wheel” each time you acquire or open a new facility. Intellectual knowledge is golden and cannot be underestimated.

Once everything is provided to your service bureau, getting the new location up and running — including getting the employees paid timely — should only take a matter of days, not weeks or months.

2: Who is Training Whom on Payroll?

As a multi-site organization, we’re sure you have learned that there are not multiple best ways to do something. If your succession plan includes training from the inside or by a position predecessor, you are setting yourself up for inconsistent processes and predecessor bad habits.

Have your provider do a training plan for new locations and rotating positions within your organization. Your provider should have a clear plan for training new staff and internal position changes.

By avoiding incoming roles inheriting bad practices, you ensure that everyone is trained on the same thing in the same way. Your provider should understand how your organization's policies work.

Training also impacts employee engagement with any new system. Ask your current provider to document the training new employees need. Training should include but is not limited to:

  • Employee Self-Service Portals
  • Updating demographics (tax changes, address changes, direct deposit, etc.)
  • Timekeeping
  • Training and Certifications

Training should never cost extra and should be available. If getting staff trained is a constant challenge, it's time to talk about how your provider can improve on this and make training more accessible.

Compliance is key — ask your provider to commit to monthly/quarterly training on the platform for key managers where you are not seeing any engagement. Training may cover logging OSHA incidents, disciplinary actions, tracking occurrences, or other topics your HR team needs support with.

3: Your Payroll Processor Knows More About Your Account Than You Do

Antiquated processes are the worst. They typically require manual intervention and leave room for errors. Ask your customer service representative about ways to improve your current payroll processes. Your representative should have experience managing large organizations like yours and, based on that experience, should have a lot of great recommendations for improving processes across your properties.


It may be as simple as adding timekeeping — maybe new hire information is submitted in pieces and can be streamlined by electronic onboarding. After payroll is processed, are you manually logging into your 401k to upload contributions, are employees enrolling in benefits using paper, and do you have to manually upload payroll deductions, log in to multiple carriers for enrollment, and then audit the changes? Technology today provides cross-functional communications to multiple platforms.

Your customer service representative should know your organization as well as you do. With that knowledge, Let them provide feedback and tell you where improvements can be made and what modules you can use.

Rid your organization of antiquated processes. Most add-ons are probably already included in what you are paying — depending on complexity, there might be some implementation fees, but if used correctly, they will make up in dollars for what you were losing to time.

It's Your Move Now

You now have a game plan; it's time to act on it. Arrange a meeting with your current payroll provider and address these conversation topics. A relationship with your provider isn't something that you should leave to chance. Talk often, be truthful, and develop together to keep this partnership.

It's about something other than what an HCM provider can do for you. It's also about working together to achieve greater efficiencies, happier employees, and a more successful business.

At PaydayHCM, we focus on multi-site locations and their success. We know what it takes to install changes and to provide ongoing support on all levels — employees, managers, administrators, you name it.

We specialize in industry technology and provide various services from hire to retirement. We help you stay up-to-date and maintain your reputation.

Now you know what to ask. It’s a starting point. Let the conversation flow! If you want more insights on HCM’s payroll operations, check out how we can benefit your company. Trust us:

Choosing the right HCM partner is a decision you don't want to ponder.

Kristi Feist

As a seasoned veteran in the industry and with Payday HCM, Kristi maintains a 1000+ client portfolio with a 98% retention rate. As Vice President of the DSO Division, Kristi works with hundreds of DSO-like companies to adopt best practices around the use of payroll technology, implementing processes and empowering employees of DSOs to use the technology.